Cool Weather Crops

Posted on October 4, 2012 by rtco-admin

What edible crops can you grow during the Fall and Winter seasons?  There are so many, and its still not too late to plant.

Root Vegetables: Radishes, Beets, Turnips, Carrots, Parsnips

All love the cool, wet weather of Fall.  You can plant these vegetables from seed now and let them get well-established before there are many hard freezes.  Root veggies will hold up during mild freezes.  You can cover them with straw or other mulch after they are established to protect them from hard freezes.  Some varieties even stand up to hard freezes all Winter long.  I love having root veggies in my garden because I can harvest them throughout the Winter when I want them – the ground soil will preserve them for you.  Also, all the root veggies listed above have edible leaves, as well, except Carrots.  They are delicious in salads and stir-fries.

Leafy Greens: Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Collards, Cabbage, Chard, Lettuces, Spinach, Chicories, Mache (aka Corn Salad)

Hardy greens usually stand up the best to hard Winters.  You can straw mulch these guys, as well, if you want to pick on them even during the coldest months.  Many varieties of Kale and Mache, especially, stay vibrant green when everything else around is dead and frozen.  Lettuces, Spinach, and other tender leaves are much less likely to withstand hard freezes, but they are fast growers in the Fall and you can eat on them up until multiple hard freezes kill them back.  Keep your vitamin intake up during the Winter by planting all these leafy greens now.

Scallions are a great Fall crop – they grow fast, love the cool Fall weather, and taste great in so many dishes.

Garlic is a crop that is harvest in the middle of Summer, but it is planting now.  If you want to grow delicious, strong flavored garlic, plant cloves now.  Many people even plant cloves they’ve bought from the grocery store.  Give them about 6 inches of space and plant them in a location that you can ignore between now and next July (when its time to harvest).  Many people mulch their garlic now to keep it from sprouting too much before hard Winter freezes kill the sprouts back.  Then in the Spring, they pull the mulch back and allow the garlic sprouts to pop up and grow tall.